The latest from the G20 meeting in Toronto. As you recall, the meeting was billed as a showdown between the Germans and the Americans…that is, between the deficit cutters and the big spenders…
That is, between the people without a hope and the people without a clue.
TORONTO (AP) – World leaders must work together to make sure the global recovery stays on track, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Saturday.
Geithner made his remarks as President Barack Obama has warned his counterparts from the Group of 20 nations to not reel in measures to stimulate their economies too quickly. The United States fears doing so could endanger the global recovery.
Asked if the global economy could slip back into another “double dip” recession, Geithner said the answer to that question hinges on decisions made by world leaders. “It is within the capacity of the people who are going to be in those rooms together in the next few days to avoid that outcome,” he said.
“If the world economy is to expand at its potential, if growth is going to be sustainable in the future, then we need to act together to strengthen the recovery and finish the job of repairing the damage of the crisis.”
As near as we can tell, the recovery has been on the wrong road since it started its motor. And the folks in Toronto couldn’t put it “back on track,” even if they knew what they were doing. All they can do is get out of the way.
The system has too much debt. It needs to get rid of some of that debt – by write offs, defaults, and pay downs. Things that must happen, must happen sooner or later. Better sooner than later.
But what IS happening now?
World trade is breaking down – the Baltic Dry index, a measure of world trade, recently fell 17 days in a row.
Consumer spending is breaking down – the “consumer discretionary” sector has turned ominously negative.
Stocks are breaking down – the Dow fell 9 points on Friday…145 points the day before….
Employment is breaking down – you know the story.
Housing is breaking down – not since 1963 have people bought so few new houses.
Does this sound like a recovery? Of course not.
What it sounds like is a defeat. A failure for the recovery team.
But don’t worry, boys, sometimes failure is the best you can hope for. And come to think of it…defeat is not so bad. Think how much better off the Chinese would have been if Mao’s long march had ended in the total collapse of his army. And suppose George W. Bush hadn’t been such a total failure? People might not have elected Barack Obama. And what if the invention of the television had never caught on? Americans might still have some dignity and brains….
Not only do collapse and failure help prevent bigger mistakes, they also correct mistakes after you’ve made them. Running up debt equal to 362% of global GDP was probably not the smartest thing the human race ever did. Trying to ‘recover’ the economy and reproduce the system that produced those debts is even dumber.
Instead, let’s have a good old fashioned correction…a collapse…a failure of the Geithner, Bernanke, Obama team. We’re going to have it anyways. Bring it on. Get it over with!
Bill Bonnerfor The Daily Reckoning
Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries. A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America's most respected authorities. Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind The Daily Reckoning. Dice Have No Memory: Big Bets & Bad Economics from Paris to the Pampas, the newest book from Bill Bonner, is the definitive compendium of Bill's daily reckonings from more than a decade: 1999-2010.
The silly newspaper today reported that “stocks were rising because consumer confidence was up” but by closing bell the Dow was down 5 points. The story is now “Stocks slip when consumer saving outpaces consumer spending.” How could this have had more weight than the increase in confidence?
“Running up debt equal to 362% of global GDP was probably not the smartest thing the human race ever did. Trying to ‘recover’ the economy and reproduce the system that produced those debts is even dumber.”
That’s the quote of the day! You rule, Bill.
Now see what a good job you can do when you stop bellyaching about leeches, zombies, etc. That silly stuff doesn’t help anybody, but I can use quotes like you gave us today.
Why are you sending me all of these blogs? I didn’t ask for any. When the Monitor stopped publishing daily, I signed up for on-line news delivery, not for all this uninvited opinion. Is there some way to put a stop to it all. I signed up for news. You now send me daily emails about topics of interest – but the headlines and little squibs don’t distinguish between real news and this sort of empty opinion. I would welcome the sort of staff written editorial content that used to appear in the daily Monitor, but not this sort of hot air. Can’t I subscribe to news along. Or, at the very least, can’t you indicate which items are news and which are just blogs? Or is this even the proper spot to complain? I seem to have been disconnected from the Monitor somehow, whereas I want them to take corrective action.
The economist Milton Friedman didn't go far enough when he said, "Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it." In fact, as Bill Bonner explains, those same good intentions are often used as pavement on a road that leads to a rather ominous and fiery destination. Read on...
Since the Internet boom of the 1990s, Internet infrastructure has not had a major upgrade in carrying capacity. Now, for the first time in more than a decade, an immense spending cycle is about to be set in motion, and it's aimed at upgrading those "old pipes." Josh Grasmick explains how you can get in on the ground floor of this investment trend...
The best use of a new technology is to solve an old problem you never gave much thought to. It's these problems that become so common, people naturally come to accept them. Now Bitcoin is doing just that, by helping to solve some of the simplest (and most common) problems people face... like splitting a dinner bill. Jeffrey Tucker explains...
Over the past three years, few investments have performed worse than coal. Investors hate it because coal stocks bring them nothing but pain. Environmentalists hate coal because it pollutes. And the list goes on. But recent price action suggests that some of those attitudes might be changing. Greg Guenthner explains...
Taken individually, most people perform relatively well in their daily lives. They get up, drive to work and interact with various other people, largely without incident. But when big groups of people get together, they can be incredibly pig-headed, demanding "action" when the best course of action would simply be inaction. And before you know it, chaos ensues. Bill Bonner explains...